Her Story iOS game review: FMV adventure fans will love this original murder mystery game for the iPhone and iPad, which has you searching through old police interrogation footage to figure out a woman’s guilt or innocence.
Her Story is one of the most intriguing and stand-out iOS titles we’ve played in a while.
For a start, the entire game plays out on an old-fashioned computer monitor, complete with flicker and overhead light reflections – a neat little attention to detail, which can be turned off in the settings if desired. Your Windows-style desktop holds a number of icons – a Readme text file to introduce the aim of the game, plus a couple of extra apps and the Cornerstone software which you’ll spend the bulk of your time on.
Basically, your task is to trawl through Cornerstone’s database of old police video tapes, watching interrogation footage of a woman whose boyfriend disappeared in mysterious circumstances, and later turned up dead. Your objective: figure out if she murdered him.
Cornerstone allows you to search for specific keywords or even phrases, then pulls up a selection of relevant clips – but no more than the first five in sequence. In this way you can search through every interview the police conducted, hunting down clues to discover what really happened.
Cornerstone is extremely helpful in other ways too, allowing you to add clips to an archive if you want to quickly refer back, as well as notifying you of any unwatched clips with a tiny icon. And of course there’s a full search history if you need to backtrack and try a different approach.
Despite essentially being little more than a search engine and a series of clips, Her Story manages to grip as the story unfurls, with a fair few shocks along the way. Knowing absolutely nothing about the case beforehand definitely helps to keep the suspense high and we won’t reveal anything here – but we were hooked by the game from start to finish. Opening up a new line of investigation with some selective searching is always a buzz, and we definitely recommend playing in the dark late at night for maximum chills.
Her Story’s music is unintrusive and only plays outside of the video clips, adding a gentle air of melancholy or sinister foreboding as you ponder over what you’ve learned and think about how to proceed. Audio is nice and clear and there’s subtitles if you need them – oh, and kiddies beware, this is an adult game with a wee bit of sweary language.
Developer Sam Barlow (who worked on the suitably creepy Silent Hill: Shattered Memories) has come up with one of the most intriguing iOS adventure games of 2015, and anyone who likes stretching their mind muscles with a murder mystery should definitely give Her Story a go. The only sticking point might be the four quid asking price, as the game can be ‘completed’ in just a couple of hours and there’s little replay value once the mystery has been solved.
Her Story is available for iPhone and iPad right now, for £3.99.